Category Archives: reviews

Foodlandia: Roadrunner Cafe


Photo by Food Mountain

It’s the weekend. You wake up, not sure what you’re in the mood to eat, so you decide it’s best to just eat out. That’s typically the steps it takes us to decide to go out to brunch. But here in Portland, it isn’t always that simple. Finding  a decently delicious brunch spot on the weekends here with a conservative wait time that everyone and their sister doesn’t know about is like trying to find a piece of gold in sand. The number one factor that makes me decide where to go? The estimated waitlist, and my level of patience for the day (or rather, my stomach’s patience). Portlandia has even featured a sketch about waiting in line for brunch. It’s just one of those “Portland things”. It’s expected. This is a foodie town, and the foodies know where the good food is.

Portlandia has even featured a sketch on the phenomenon. Before I moved here, when I’d come up to visit the town for the week every now and then, I’d always make a point to go to notable places (aka. places with long wait times) and sacrifice in order to try something new and exciting. I don’t regret it, but most of the wait times were between 1 to 2 hours. Right after I moved here, I had been having dreams about The Screen Door’s weekend-only brunch (and the place is only a mile away from my apartment thankgod!), and the second we drove up we saw a line about 50 people deep. And it wasn’t even open yet. Maybe you get the picture, yeah?

It’s a hard life we live. We get hooked to all of these delicious restaurants and there’s only so much goodness to go around. It’s a food fight. Literally. I suppose you take the good with the bad though, don’t you? I’ve learned to live. I’ll be alright.

So what do you do when you’re craving a roasted root vegetable hash with parsnip puree, chard, and over-easy egg dish? Or chicken and sweet potato waffles? You make a list. You start a journal. You write down all of the places you’d like to try sometime, particularly those “less popular” ones that no one (yet) knows about. Food carts in hidden neighborhoods, new signs for places you’ve seen driving down the street, typical bars that you wouldn’t expect to be serving brunch on the weekends. So that when you’re stumped and brain dead with low blood sugar in the morning and all you want is a damn good brunch rightthisverysecondthankyouverymuch, you have a handy dandy go-to reference at your fingertips.

I haven’t yet spent much time on SE Division since I’ve moved here, but when I have driven down the street, this particular place continually caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. Roadrunner.

And there was no wait. By the interior and exterior design alone, I fell in love with it. There were horseshoes nailed onto one of the beams when we first walked in, and vintage photographs and paintings decorating the mustard yellow walls. It was adorable. Even the napkins were made out of a nice, soft linen. The menus were splattered with coffee and grease stains, but that gave it all the more character. Upon first glance of the menu, the most exotic looking dish I could find was the caramelized carrot, okra, broccoli and havarti cheese scramble. I debated upon trying the biscuits and gravy or the pulled pork breakfast burrito but found out that the burrito was pretty spicy, which I leave up to the boyfriend to handle (I can’t do it at all). The waitstaff was very friendly and on top of everything, the decaf was delicious and not too bitter, we had nibbles of mini biscuits and raspberry jam to curb out hunger even though the food came quickly, the atmosphere was lovely, but the food was a bit more underwhelming. You could find pretty much anything on the menu for less than $10, but nothing really seemed to do the trick. I ordered the scramble, and added a biscuit (which ended up being heart shaped! cutest thing ever! I appreciate those kinds of details) for 50 cents more. And at least I got to try okra for the first time! I liked it!

Road Runner Café

3570 SE Division St.

Portland, OR 97202

(503) 232-3004
Hours: Wed-Sun 8 am – 2 pm

Humphry Slocombe: The Hipster Ice Cream Parlor of Ice Cream Parlors


I like weird food.

I like unique food.

I like creative food.

I like ice cream.

I like weird, unique, and creative ice cream flavors.

So when I discovered that a little ice cream shop in San Francisco–Humphry Slocombe–could deliver all of these in one, I was immediately excited. Thanks to a slow afternoon at work one fine day several weeks ago, I was able to catch up on some reading in the New York Times magazine and was intrigued by the featured photo of an ice cream shop with the decoration of a taxidermied double-headed cow plastered to the wall above the red-leather swivel stools.
So on my latest trip to San Francisco to run the half marathon, I made a point to stop by there on my way home. I dialed the address of this baby into my GPS and off I went into the Mission District. It was perfect ice cream weather: typical overcast Bay Area skies with a little bit of sun peaking out. I easily found (free!) parking on Harrison St. about a block away from the shop that Sunday afternoon, and was instantly greeted by these fantastic Warhol replicas the second I walked through the door.
Luck was on my side–the line was short and sweet. Apparently they had just opened at noon, so all flavors were in stock. The assortment of 12 flavors rotate daily. Sometimes hourly (if they sell out). I had crossed my fingers that the infamous “Secret Breakfast” would be showcased. And sure enough, there it was, right before my eyes. BOURBON. AND CORNFLAKES. IN ICE CREAM. Yes. How do you like that one? The ice cream proprietor, Jake Godby, has over 100 crazy ice cream flavored recipes in his back pocket, although he claims he “can’t sell cupcakes to save his life” (ahem… call me, Jake, if you need future business partner). He claims “I only make ice cream I think tastes good” (NY Times). And let me tell you, it does.
Some flavors that have piqued my interest (so much so that I don’t mind randomly driving the hour and 20 minute drive there just to take my chances on trying every single one at some point in my life):
-Black Walnut
-Candy Cap
-Candied Ginger
-Elvis (the “Fat Years”)
-Green Tea-Black Sesame
-Guinness Gingerbread
-Harvey Milk & Honey Graham Cracker
-Honey Thyme
-Milk Chocolate Tarragon
-Peanut Butter Curry
-Pom Coconut Ale
-Pumpkin 5 Spice
-“Red Hot” Banana (yes, Red Hot candies in banana ice cream)
-Salted Licorice
-Secret Breakfast
-Skull Splitter Root Beer
-White Chocolate Lavender
And sorbets & sherberts:
-Cucumber Ice Milk
-Dirty Girl Strawberry
-Golden Beet Saffron
-Hibiscus Beet
-Jesus Juice (red wine + coke)
-Pineapple 5-Spice
I think you get the picture.
Pictured below are the flavors that were available that day:
The girl behind the counter was super friendly and didn’t mind at all handing me samples of almost every single flavor (I couldn’t help but feel semi-guilty with all the spoons they must have to wash constantly). I was curious about the Balsamic Caramel and before I could ask to try it, she already scooped me out a bit. After himming and hawing for a few good minutes, I went for a double-scoop combo (on a sugar cone) of the Secret Breakfast and the Blue Bottle Vietnamese Coffee. Bourbon. Cornflakes. Coffee. Ice cream for breakfast anyone?
And it was only $3.75! Pretty darn reasonable, if you ask me!
I also considered taking home a hand-packed pint of something, but I asked the cashier her opinion if it would survive the trip home and she as unsure as I was.
Next time I’m bringing freezer bags!
(Photo: From NY Times article)
So I just sat myself down and had a great gastronomical experience.
And stared at the double-headed cow.
And took a billion pictures.
And felt super content.
And fantasized about my future blog post that I am now writing about Humphrey Slocombe.
Because I secretly wish I could have been that interviewer/writer/photographer from the NY Times.
Instead, I’m doing this (unpaid) from the comfort of my living room.
Just for pure self-enjoyment and nostalgia.
And because you owe yourself a visit to this establishment sometime in the near future.

So yes, Humphry Slocombe, I love you. I am a believer. And I will return to you once again. Very soon. Like, in about five days, actually. Hopefully I’ll be able to cross off a few more of those flavors from that list. In the meantime, I’ll just have to live vicariously through your Twitter and Facebook feed. And once I have the chance, will definitely be giving you 5 stars on Yelp.
If you go:
Humphry Slocombe
2790 Harrison St (between 23rd St & 24th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

(415) 550-6971

Mon-Sun 12pm-9pm
Cash only